Sunday, November 27, 2016

Lost Maples

When we were contemplating our move here, my personal biggest anxiety was whether or not we would have any fall foliage to speak of. Having grown up in Vermont, vibrant fall colors are woven into my bloodline and I wasn't sure I'd be able to be happy in a place that didn't have some form of a foliage season. Most people I talked with who had spent time here promised there is plenty of color in the fall but since actually moving here, it has become all too clear that those people were LIARS. I have struggled through the last month, unable to even peek at pictures from family and friends enjoying the beautiful East Coast and Colorado fall.

We learned, through research and from word of mouth, of Lost Maples State Natural Area but were a little afraid to let our expectations rise above a pretty low level. It takes a little under 2 hours to get there, and the website doesn't seem to promise anything spectacular. However, starving for a little taste of the fall we know and love, we got up early this morning and piled into the car to see what the park had to offer before we completely missing the boat this year. Man, I am I glad we did.

It was a perfect chilly day (even had to buy the kids a couple of unexpected sweatshirts when we arrived!). The park is huge and, despite the fact that most of the leaves had already fallen and it's supposedly a more subdued year than it can be, we had an amazing time. We marveled at the similarities between this park and some of our favorite Colorado hikes. In true Stith fashion, we headed out with the intention of taking a quick look around and ended up hiking 5 miles or so, mostly motivated by the stubborn curiosity we all seem to share. While looking at the map, we noticed a section labeled "steep" and all agreed we had to see for ourselves how "Texas Steep", as we fondly dubbed all the inclines after that, measured up to "Colorado Steep" (incidentally, we were all impressed!).

As we drove out of the park, I felt deep gratitude for this little pocket of Texas. Not only did we enjoy it today, but we now know it will be there for us in the future.

Point of interest: "The Grotto"

Point of Interest: "Monkey Rock"

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Mission San Jose

Woah! Long time no see, huh?

I recently decided to separate myself from Facebook, so am reviving my blog. This time around, I'll be focusing more on posting pictures as opposed to writing, and putting less pressure on myself to post only when I feel like I have "something to say". I just want a place to share my photos as I work to improve my photography skills and to give little updates on our family adventures for those who enjoy following along with us as we explore this new life of ours in San Antonio, TX.

So, here we go!

Grandma and Pepaw are here visiting for Thanksgiving this week and we couldn't be more happy to finally have the chance to make a family connection in our new home. After taking Pepaw to a movie in the park last night ("The Three Amigos"--one of my all time favorites!), we were joined by Grandma and piled in the car to head to Mission San Jose. We finally got the cool down we've been promised for so long, and we have been practically walking on air the past few days in our 50-60 degree weather (including the middle of the afternoon!). Anyway, it was a beautiful day that we ended by strolling around and eating dinner at the Historic Market Square downtown.